Australian Rookie Fest 2011 prepares for Hit Thredbo

Tom Copsey Tom Copsey

The Black Yeti is back for a repeat season with Thredbo hosting the 2nd ever Australian Rookie Fest from 18th – 19th August, 2011. It will be a 2 star TTR slopestyle event with competitors earning points towards the TTR world ranking, international and national rookie rankings. A unique chance for top young riders to test themselves in an international field!

The World Rookie Tour is organised by the World Snowboard Federation and aims to provide competitors under 18 years of age with an international sporting experience including ‘a slopestyle competition, sport, fun, didactical activities and get together moments for riders of different nationalities. Last year’s male Rookie and Grom winners Billy Hayman and Henry Bessell, travelled to the World Rookie Fest Finals in Ischgl Austria in April 2011.

On his return Henry commented that it was an awesome experience. “When I won the grom section of the Australian Rookie Fest, I had no idea where Ischgl was or what it would be like. This was my first time in Europe and it was really different from riding in both Australia and the USA. While it took about 30 hours to get there, it was worth it – the mountains were huge. The Gondola took 20min to get 3/4 of the way up the mountain and it wasn’t going slow. The food (fresh baked croissants every morning for breakfast) was good start to the day, my German was terrible and the nightlife was wicked BUT best of all – I had my first photo shoot and I had a great time riding with junior snowboarders from all over the world. It was so good, I am aiming to go back to Ischgl and the World Rookie Fest Finals again.” Henry stated.

Among the many prizes offered this year, all podium place getters in both Rookie and Grom divisions, qualify to compete in the 4 star TTR World Rookie Finals in Ischgl in April 2012. The male and female Rookie winners will also win an all inclusive entry including registration, accommodation, meals and lift tickets. The male and female Grom winners will win an all inclusive entry into the Livigno World Rookie Fest, held in January, 2012. The event has also joined forces with Stylewars – The Australian Slopestyle Championships, a 4 star TTR event, with the male and female Rookie winners winning a free of charge entry to the event to be held in Falls Creek from 20th – 24th August. To be eligible for this prize they must have also competed in the Australian Junior Snowboarding Series.

With the recently announced inclusion of slopestyle as an Olympic event in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, there is likely to be a lot of interest, with the Australian Rookie Fest and the World Rookie Tour providing an excellent competition pathway for our junior athletes.

Watch this space: The World Snowboard Federation recently announced its intention to focus on the Australian Rookie Fest in 2012 making it a 3 star TTR event. The WSF Vice President, Marco Sampaoli will be attending with a film crew to shoot some footage for inclusion in their World Rookie Tour TV show in 2013. They have also announced that winners of some World Rookie Tour events in Europe in 2011 will qualify to compete down under in the Australian Rookie Fest in 2012. “It is great to see Australian snowboard community so active and it is a priority for the WSF World Rookie Tour to involve them more and more in the international movement” stated Marco Sampaoli.

Thanks must go to our to our sponsors and supporters without which the event would not be possible: Red Bull International, Thredbo, K2 Snowboards, Adrenalin Boardstore, Smith Optics, Skull Candy, Semantics, World Snowboard Federation, TTR, Ski and Snowboard Australia and Snowsports NSW.

Event application form is attached or can be found HERE.

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